Why am I a Mason? Why do I spend multiple nights a week at one Masonic event or another? Why do I feel the need to contribute to every Masonic organization I can with my time and effort?
There are several reasons, but the most important is because of the love I experienced today from the Brothers of my Lodges. Today I saw the beauty of Freemasonry on full display.
Since becoming a Mason and throughout my life, I have heard, and said what Freemasonry is or what I believe it to be.
Masonry is an organization that makes good men better
Masonry is, "The Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God"
Masonry is a charitable organization
Masonry is a secret society
Masonry is not a secret society
Masonry is a Fraternity
While many of these statements are true, the one I find to stand out the most, is that Masonry is a Fraternity. The dictionary defines fraternity as, "a group of people sharing a common profession or interests," and "the state or feeling of friendship and mutual support within a group." Both of these definitions certainly support the fact that Masonry is a Fraternity, and after a lifetime associated with freemasonry and 14 years as a Master Mason, I witnessed the Fraternal Bonds more today than I have in the past, because today my family and I were the recipients of fraternal assistance.
For the last 2 months my father has been in the hospital and will be returning home soon. Unfortunately, my parents home has steps in the front and back, neither of which make the home wheelchair accessible. With that in mind, five Brothers from Tannehill and Highland Park Masonic Lodges got together and built a ramp at my parents home today. Most of these men have known my father for years, however, some of them either haven't met him or have only spent little time around him since becoming Masons themselves. This all happened while I was at work and unable to help. This effort was spearheaded by Brother Mike Biddler with the help of Brothers Ken Black, Bill Sampson, Wes Symank, and JP Shanks. These men were not asked to do this, they just saw a need and went into action. My family and I cannot thank these men enough for their time and effort.
So, why do I go to Lodge? I attend lodge because I know that the men I see there will always be there for me when I'm in need whether they personally know me or not. I attend Lodge so I can serve Brothers in need. I attend Lodge because I will never be able to give back more than I have received.
While many things are true about Freemasonry, at the core, we are a Fraternity and we take care of each other.
Thank you Brothers!